Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/610

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594
[CATEGORIES
PSYCHOLOGY


it will be convenient at this point to digress somewhat for a moment to consider a question of some psychological interest. When we say that two “ contents " are similar, and when too they admit of analysis, we can, if need be, enumerate certain elements as the ground of their partial likeness, and certain others as the ground of their partial diversity. We may further say that, abstracting from these last, we can regard the points of resemblance as constituting a general class to which the two contents belong as specific instances. But how is either comparison or abstraction possible when the two resembling contents appear as simple, and so far unanalysable? Instances, of course, are familiar to every one: thus we call red and orange colours, and say they resemble each other more than do red and blue. In presence of this guestion logicians and psychologists are apt to be at loggerhead s. The logician maintains that abstraction and resemblance (as distinct from qualitative identity) imply complexity; and surely here he cannot be gainsaid. Yet there are the facts: reds and blues of sorts and a whole scale of degrees of likeness and unlikeness; but no constituent parts, no assignable marks of identity or diversity, are forthcoming, such as we find when we class sugar and salt together as solid or soluble, and pronounce them like in colour and unlike in taste. Here the logician's symbols a-l-b--c, a+b+d, have their counterparts: there-for the percipient's consciousness at all events-they have not. We cannot “ consider and attend to either the sameness or the differences in ” red and blue, as we can to the like or the unlike properties in salt and sugar. None the less it would be hasty to conclude that colours or any given sensations are simple. We are often struck by the likeness of complex wholes-two faces, say-long before we can discern the exact points of resemblance. Still, so long as there is no perceptible complexity in the individual presentations there can be no analysis of them, and, therefore, neither abstraction nor comparison based upon it. Can we find elsewhere the complexity that generalization and comparison invariably imply? Though colour may be regarded as a general term applicable alike to red, green and blue, just as animal is a general term applicable alike to bird, beast and fish, it is a mistake to infer that the processes are the same because of this similarity in their products. We seem bound to distinguish between consciously logical or “ noetic " processes and processes that are unconsciously logical or “ hyponoetic, " as we may perhaps call them. In the former the subjective aspect is left aside; in the latter it cannot be. The only common mark we can psychologically assign to colours is that they are all seen, and to tones-as the element of notes and noises-that they are all heard. So often as we talk of tasting tastes, smelling smells, feeling touches, language leads us to bear witness to this fact. When the sunset red changes to the twilight grey, I still see; but when the thunder follows the lightning there is a double change, though not an absolute one: from seeing I pass to hearing, but I am sentient still. And if progressive differentiation be the order of experience then the “ universal " sentience precedes the differentiations seeing, hearing, &c., and, again, the “ universal " colour the differentiations, red, green, blue, &c. Such “first universals, ” then, are not reached by abstraction, but are given in the fundamental continuity of experience, and their subsequent differentiation admits neither of definition nor the classification applicable to discrete complexes, which are the material of logical comparison only. When red is pronounced liker or nearer to yellow than it is to green, this is because a smaller change is experienced in the transition from red to yellow than in that from red to green, and because in the latter yellow is reached and passed before green appears.'~ Proximity and resemblance are, then, so far one and the same; also both are equally relative, admit of the same indefinite gradation, and have the same limit in zero, regarded either as coincidence or identity. The conception of “distance between " answers, then, to what we have cal ed a h ponoetic relation, and this is plainly distinct from the analysis of] discrete complexes, with which, as said, noetic comparison is alone concerned: the one implies and the other excludes the notion of continuity and change-a fact which helps still further to distinguish the two.

C are gories.

40. We come now to deal with the categories in more detail. To begin with what are par excellence formal categories, Forma; and among these with that which is the most funda-Caregories: mental and formal of all-How do we come by the U""-"° conception of unity? “ Amongst all the ideas we have, ” says Locke, “ as there is none suggested to the mind by more ways, so there is none more simple than that of unity, or one. It has no shadow of variety or composition in it; every object our senses are employed about, every idea in our understandings, every thought of our minds, brings this idea along with it.”” But to assign a sensible origin to unity is certainly Assuming, of course, that the change is the simplest or directest possible, Le. a change of “ colour proper ” without change of saturation.

2 Essay concerning Human Understanding, ll. xvi. § I. a mistake-one of a class of mistakes already more than once referred to, which consist in transferring to the data of sense all that is implied in the language necessarily used in speaking of them. The term “a sensation ” no doubt carries along with it the idea of unity, but the bare sensation as received brings along with it nothing but itself. And, if we consider sensory consciousness merely, we do not receive a sensation, and then another sensation, and so on sefiatim; but we have always a continuous diversity of sensations even when these are qualitatively sharply differentiated. Moreover, if unity were an impression of sense and passively received, it would, in common with other impressions, be unamenable to change. We cannot see red as blue, but we can resolve many (parts) into one (whole), and vice versa? Unity, then, is the result of an act the occasions for which, no doubt, are at first non voluntarily determined; but the act is still as distinct from them as is attention from the objects attended to. It is to that movement of attention already described in dealing with ideation (§ 24) that we must look as the source of this category. This same movement, in like manner, yields us temporal signs; and the complex unity formed by a combination of these is what We call number. When there is little or no difference between the field and the focus of attention, unifying is an impossibility, whatever the impressions received may be. On the other hand, as voluntary acts of concentration become more frequent and distinct the variegated continuum of sense is shaped into intuitions of definite things and events. Also, as soon as words facilitate the control of ideas, it becomes possible to single out special aspects and relations of things as the subjects or starting points of our discursive thinking. Thus the forms of unity are manifold: every act of intuition or thought, whatever else it is, is an act of unifying.

It is obvious that the whole field of consciousness at any moment can never be actually embraced as one. What is unified becomes thereby the focus of consciousness and so leaves an outlying field; so far unity may be held to imply plurality. But it cannot with propriety be said that in a simple act of attention the field of consciousness is analysed into two distinct parts, Le. two unities-this (now attended to) and the other or the rest (abstracted from). For the not-this is but the rest of a continuum and not itself a whole; it is left out but not determined, as the bounding space is left out when a figure is drawn. To know two unities we must connect both together; and herein comes to light the difference between the unity which is the form of the concept or subject of discourse and the unity of a judgment. The latter is of necessity complex; the former may or may not be. But in any case the complexity of the two is different. If the subject of thought is not only clear but distinct-i.e. not merely defined as a whole but having its constituents likewise more or less defined-such distinctness is due to previous judgments. At any future time these may of course be repeated; such are the analytical or explicative judgments of logic. As the mere subject of discourse it is, however, a single unity simultaneously apprehended; the relation ascertained between it and its predicate constitutes the unity of judgment, a unity which is comprehended only when its parts are successively apprehended. But, though a judgment is always a complex unity, the extent of this complexity seems at first sight to vary as the form of synthesis varies. Formal logic, as we have seen, Law or

by throwing the form of synthesis into the predicate Divhvfvmy or Duality.

thought,

it is certain, for example, that “ It is an explosion” is less complex than “The enemy explodes the mine.” The first answers one question; the second answers three. But as regards more complex judgment both the process of ascertaining fact and the language in which it is expressed show that has no difficulty in reducing every judgment to an S is P. But, if we at all regard the matter

the

the

the three elements concerned in it are not synthesized at once. 3 “ We may regard one of the words here printed as one, in that by a definite act we unite a plurality of letters in our image and separate it from its neighbours: we may also regard the one word as many when we attend to the transition from one letter to another and mark each step ” (Sigwart, Logic, ii. § 66).